Cindy, a tomboy unsure of her social status, dreams of a party where her fairy godmother gives her etiquette lessons, and wakes up to receive her very own invitation. Filmed in Lawrence, Kansas.
Cinderella resurfaced in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1955, this time as Cindy, a bit of a tomboy who is decidedly unsure of her social status. Her vexing problem: some of the kids at school are having a birthday party, and she hasn't gotten an invitation. Falling asleep, Cindy wakes and is greeted by a young woman in formal dress identifying herself as her fairy godmother, who transports her and friend Dennis (who needs some education in manners) to the party. While the other partygoers, quite unaware of the intense training happening around them, play games and consume refreshments, the fairy godmother sets up a series of didactic demonstrations of proper party behavior for Cindy and Dennis.
Liberal use is made of the magic wand, superimposed titles ("Don't break things" and "Leave on time") and minor cinema trickery. When Cindy wakes, the invitation is in her mother's hands and she really is going to the party. But she's changed, like so many dreamers in educational films. No longer a tomboy, she is growing into a "good girl."
Educational and training films are full of dreams, an ideal vehicle to enable the imagination of scriptwriters. Troubled protagonists fall asleep and are visited by supernatural figures with special expertise and knowledge.
Although few mid-century educational films ever explicitly counseled children on the acceptance of proper gender roles, a good many of them contain strong implicit messages to this effect. For Cindy, gravitating away from a mixed gender identification to full-blown "girliness" is presented as a necessity and as an answer to her expressed need to "fit in." This is the way it came down in 1955, and not enough has changed.
As scriptwriter Trudy Travis reveals in her interview (on the Make Mine Freedom disc), Centron shot most of its productions in and around Lawrence, using nonprofessional talent from the nearby University of Kansas and elsewhere. Their films collectively form an unusually interesting record of the "look and feel" of Lawrence and the surrounding area throughout the postwar years. While Centron, like other producers, generally avoided explicit regional references, it made no attempt to homogenize the distinctive speech and mannerisms of its prairie-reared talent and, perhaps without intending to, created movies that have real ethnographic and documentary value quite aside from their declared subject matter.
MODERN CINDERELLA STORY DEMONSTRATES RULES OF GOOD MANNERS THAT HELP ONE OBTAIN GREATER ENJOYMENT WHEN AT A PARTY. FAIRY GODMOTHER HELPS CINDY, A TOMBOYISH GIRL.
11:02:01:00 - 11:02:09:00
TC: "Young America Films presents" over caricature profile of eagle
11:02:10:00 - 11:02:17:00
TC: "Cindy Goes To A Party" "Copyright MCMLV Centron Corporation, Inc.' over drawing of girl wearing party dress and holding a wand
11:02:18:00 - 11:02:22:00
TC: "A Centron Production" over drawing of girl wearing party dress and holding a wand
11:02:23:00 - 11:03:00:00
MS a young boy and a young girl in pig-tails playing basketball in a driveway; white house sits next door; girl throws ball to basket; ball falls into both girl's and boy's hands; they both tug to reclaim it; CU boy and girl tugging at basketball; they look o.s.; boy gets ball and they converse; girl looks disappointed; boy gives ball to girl and walks away; MS girl walks toward her house; her head hanging down as she unhappily walks to the front door
11:03:02:00 - 11:03:55:00
MS young girl sitting on her bed; mother sitting beside bed putting girl's hair in curlers as they talk; night table with lamp beside table (horse covered wallpaper in BG); CU mother kindly talking; MS mother places covers over girl then mother walks away; girl closes eyes; track in CU girl's face as she sleeps; girl suddenly awakens
11:03:56:00 - 11:05:22:00
MS young girl laying in bed; she wakes up confused, looking around and talking; fairy appears by her bed with flowers in her hair, wearing a dress and holding a wand; girl quickly sits up and they talk (horse covered wallpaper in BG); girls looks skeptical; VS of MCU girl and fairy talking; fairy turns and waves her wand at the window; the room brightens; MS girl gets out of bed wearing pajamas; fairy waves wand towards girl and her pajamas turn to a flowered party dress and her hair is fixed; fairy waves wand in air and "Be Clean" appears; another wave of the wand and "And Neat" appears; CU girls face looking up with awed expression; fairy waves her wand again
11:05:23:00 - 11:06:08:00
MCU fairy and young girl standing in front of a house, talking; fairy with flowers in hair wearing a dress and holding a wand; girl wearing a party dress; fairy waves wand and "Be On Time" appears; another wave of the wand and "Leave On Time" appears; CU fairy talking and smiling; MS fairy and girl talking; both look o.s. smiling and fairy disappears; girl talks to boy and girl entering frame; she turns around, confused, looking for fairy; she turns back to boy and girl talking; a young girl opens front door from inside and greets them
11:06:08:00 - 11:06:39:00
MS young girl wearing party dress opens front door of house from inside; 2 girls and a boy enter the house wearing party attire; they smile and talk as they enter the house; one girl stops to talk to boy as the others walk away (house in view outside window in BG); MCU boy and girl talking; picture of old woman on a chair hanging on the wall behind them; CU picture; fairy appears in the frame as old woman disappears; MCU boy looking o.s., confused; boy rubs his eyes with amazement and looks at girl with confusion; fairy appears beside him with flowers in her hair, wearing a dress and holding a wand; they talk, looking at the children in the BG; fairy waves her wand
11:06:39:00 - 11:08:02:00
MS children sitting back-to-back ready to play musical chairs; fairy standing over them, talking (fireplace and bookcases in BG); fairy wearing a dress with flowers in her hair and holding a wand; MCU fairy talking to children; she waves her wand and "Join In The Games" appears; children look up at words; fairy disappears; MS children stand around chairs; they begin to run around them, playing musical chairs; MS children running by a lamp sitting on a table; boy runs by and knocks lamp off; fairy appears and catches it; she replaces it with a sigh of relief; boy runs to her and waving her wand "Don't Be Too Noisy Or Rough: appears; another wave of the wand and "Don't Break Things" appears; girl enters frame talking and fairy looks at her disapprovingly; with a wave of the wand "Don't Tease Or Make Fun Of Others" appears; girl smiles and runs o.s.; as fairy and boy talk she waves wand and "Obey The Rules Of The Game" appears; another wave and "Be A Good Loser" appears; fairy waves good-bye
11:08:02:00 - 11:08:52:00
MS young boy and girl running around a chair playing musical chairs; 4 other children cheer them on, laughing and smiling; girl sits down first; boy sits beside her (living room setting in BG); MCU boy and girl get up from chair, smiling and talking; boy walks away as another boy enters frame; fairy appears with flowers in her hair, wearing a dress and holding a wand; fairy talks to them as she hands her wand to the girl; CU girl talks and with a wave of the wand "Be A Good Winner" appears; MS girl hands wand back to fairy; they all converse; fairy waves wand and "Be Polite" appears; another wave of the wand and "Be Considerate Of Others" appears; fairy disappears; boy and girl walk o.s.
11:08:53:00 - 11:09:11:00
VS kids playing games intercut with fairy standing behind and leaning on top of a large clock; hours lapse (large flowered wallpaper in BG)
11:08:53:00 - 11:09:09:00
MS young girls and boys dressed in party attire, playing games in a living room; game is a relay race blowing paper cups along a string; 3 kids relaying while others stand around cheering them on; MS boys and girls playing spin the bottle in a living room; bottle points to a boy and the others point and laugh at him; MCU girl in a blindfold with other children steer her around
11:09:12:00 - 11:10:45:00
MS young boys and girls in a living room; girl walks into room carrying two pieces of cake; she gives the cake to a boy and girl standing by the wall (kids sitting in FG waiting for their cake); MCU boy and girl standing by the wall holding their cake; fairy appears behind them with flowers in her hair, wearing a dress and holding a wand; they turn to her, placing their cake on the hearth behind them; they all converse; fairy waves her wand and "Remember Your Table Manners" appears; CU fairy talking; MCU they talk as fairy waves wand again and "Leave On Time" appears; another wave of the wand and "Thank The Hostess" appears; CU boy and girl talking to the fairy (fairy o.s.); MCU they all talk; fairy waves good-bye and disappears; track in to girl sadly calling for the fairy
11:10:46:00 - 11:11:12:00
CU young girl's face as she is having a bad dream; track out to MS mother and young woman standing over her bed, mother trying to wake her up; she awakens and sits up; they converse; young woman hands girl an invitation; MCU girl happily talking to young woman standing over her (bedside table and horse covered wallpaper in BG)
Ken Smith sez: Cindy is a tomboy who's hurt when she discovers she wasn't invited to a neighborhood party. She goes to bed, but then her Fairy Godmother appears and takes her to the party anyway. Every time the Fairy Godmother waves her magic wand, party etiquette lessons are superimposed on the walls, such as "Don't break things" and "Leave on time" (Jam Handy used this trick in Diana Lives and A Coin With Two Heads). Little Cindy is no actress, but she shines in comparison to her co-star, "Dennis," who wears a shirt so oversized it looks like a mu-mu and whose head is abnormally small. Cindy wakes up at the end, but she still gets to go to the party.
TOMBOYS GIRLS FAIRY GODMOTHERS MANNERS PARTIES CHILDREN BOYS SEX ROLES RECREATION LEISURE SOCIALIZATION ETIQUETTE GAMES SLEEP BEDS BEDROOMS MOTHERS DAUGHTERS PARTIES ANXIETY SURREALISM FANTASY HUMOR CAMERA TRICKS MUSICAL CHAIRS FOOD MAGIC WANDS DOORS CINDERELLA MYTHOLOGY FOLK TALES
We open on Cindy and pal Dennis playing hoops in Cindy's driveway. Cindy is called in for dinner and Dennis asks about a party the next day, Cindy awkwardly lies that she doesn't like parties, and later cries to her mom that they purposely did not invite her. That night she is visited by a fairy godmother who shows her the ins and outs of being a good guest.
A few things:
The party seemed very structured, with stupid games, one was musical chairs, the others are a mystery.
The fairy godmother seems awfully depressed that the kids are learning things. Cindy and Dennis have to cheer HER up, how wierd is that?
Cindy's mom lets th party giver's sister who forgot to give Cindy the invite three days ago, ( one woders why she didn't come by earlier)into her sleeping daughter's bedroom, what the actual heck is that about?
Cindy mistakenly believes that the other kids think she would rather go fishing or play basketball than go to a party. I don't know about her but if the choice was between fishing and basketball and a party where you are visited by a depressive fairy, I'd choose fishing and basketball any day.
Reviewer:Victor Von Psychotron
September 20, 2012 Subject:
You WILL have fun
I love how the fairy godmother insists the children join in the games and have fun. There is almost a sense of menace when she tells them to participate.
January 9, 2012 Subject:
How old are these kids?
Love the girl's cowboy and indian wallpaper. And she has more sports equipment in her room than I did.
But the real wonder here is how old are these kids? They're at a party seemingly designed for 7 to 10 year olds but Cindy's male friend looks 14 or 15 and Cindy seems a little old for this stuff too. Something strange about the casting.
OK film though. Not my favorite.
December 16, 2008 Subject:
May 30, 2008 Subject:
3 years later
Dennis dropped out of high school and started hanging around with bikers and smoking marijuana. Even though Cindy knew he was a bad boy and her mama said to avoid Dennis now... Cindy could not help but be drawn to his badness and continuted to sneak out of her bedroom after bedtime and meet him to ride his bike out in the woods. Cindy got pregnant and Dennis quit the biker gang to get a job at the local gas station.
10 years later, Cindy burned her bra and joined Women's Liberation. She left Dennis and their two kids and moved into a Hippie Commune and now the Fairy God Mother is her "life partner".
March 27, 2008 Subject:
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March 22, 2008 Subject:
Covert Communism EVERYWHERE!
In the opening credits, look at the eye of the eagle logo. It's in the shape of a hammer and sickle! How did THAT get by the Committee on UnAmerican Activities?
October 23, 2007 Subject:
Another funny one
You and your friends should enjoy this. It's fairly absurd. I like any of these films which have an "imagination" aspect to them.
June 22, 2006 Subject:
Naive for its time
I was around the same age as the youngsters in this 1955 film, and my generation certainly wasn't as immature or unsophisticated as those kids. This film was passe even in 1955. The over-acting of the fairy godmother was annoying.
June 22, 2006 Subject:
Learning to be a Good Winner
Cindy falls asleep worried that sheÃ¢ÂÂs not invited to MaryÃ¢ÂÂs party because of her tomboy ways. A Ã¢ÂÂfairy godmotherÃ¢ÂÂ enters her room. But she tells Cindy that Ã¢ÂÂshe mustnÃ¢ÂÂt tell anyoneÃ¢ÂÂ about her visit (except her friend Dennis, another socially challenged child). A stranger entering a childÃ¢ÂÂs room at night and telling the child she Ã¢ÂÂmustnÃ¢ÂÂt tellÃ¢ÂÂ? This film certainly wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt be made today! Cindy and Dennis are misfits. Cindy likes to Ã¢ÂÂplay basketball or go fishing.Ã¢ÂÂ Dennis, we learn later, Ã¢ÂÂplays rough and breaks things.Ã¢ÂÂ The fairy godmother shows them Ã¢ÂÂhow to actÃ¢ÂÂ at the party. This film is less manipulative and judgmental than some of the others at the archives. The childrenÃ¢ÂÂs Ã¢ÂÂfaultsÃ¢ÂÂ arenÃ¢ÂÂt treated like moral failingsÃ¢ÂÂalthough itÃ¢ÂÂs true that CindyÃ¢ÂÂs tomboy ways are seen as a trait that isolate her from the other children. DennisÃ¢ÂÂs rough behavior is not treated as pejoratively, his invitation didnÃ¢ÂÂt get Ã¢ÂÂlostÃ¢ÂÂ like CindyÃ¢ÂÂs. The party itself is humble by todayÃ¢ÂÂs standards and the children are expected to entertain themselves. Ã¢ÂÂDoes anyone want ice cream and cake?Ã¢ÂÂ The small portion sizes the children eat (and there were no seconds) might be one reason why there was less childhood obesity then.
November 20, 2005 Subject:
A young girl wakes in her bedroom to find that a neighbor girl has intruded into her home as she slept. The neighbor girl appears to drug her victims with some form of halucinogenic, and carries on with some bazaar fantasy she has about being a fairy godmother. She goes on to lead the child from the home with the standard pedophile baitings of party cake and what not. She takes the child to another location containing more children she has abducted. In her wake is a trail of graffiti as she defaces the walls of every room she enters. Obviously well practiced in her sick obsessions, she returns the child before morning, and even has the nerve to re-enter the house as a legitimate visitor, as though she had just gotten there!
AWESOME cowboy wallpaper!!
July 16, 2004 Subject:
Conform to All Rules So Everybody Can Have a Good Time!
Tomboy Cindy is bummed out because she wasnÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt invited to her friend MaryÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs birthday party, presumably because of her tomboyish ways. Fortunately, her fairy godmother comes and saves the day, mostly by waving her magic wand to make rules of party etiquette appear in the air in front of her. Cindy and her friend Dennis (who is also afflicted with the same psychosis, even seeing the fairy godmother in a print of WhistlerÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs Mother) have fun at the party by being good little conformists and following all the fairy godmotherÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs rules. However, when Cindy begins to anticipate what the fairy godmother will say (which is not too difficult as her rules are incredibly obvious and elementaryÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂDonÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt break thingsÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ is an example), the godmother slides into a fit of depressed uselessness, saying, ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂYou donÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt need me anymore!ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ, which is a cue for Cindy and Dennis to emotionally rescue her by insisting that they do too need her, and generally shoring up her fragile ego. So they are also learning the habits of codependence at an early age as well. As you might guess from the description, this film is incredibly campy and has a great deal of entertainment value. I always say you canÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt go wrong with supernatural visitors, especially neurotic ones.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.
April 30, 2004 Subject:
I Dream Of Jeannie
This Cinderella films reminds me of the TV show called: "I Dream Of Jeannie" but without Major Nelson nor Dr. Bellows. This is a very educational film and it could be a good learning tool for all of us, young or old, how to act whenever we go to a social function or a party.
August 16, 2003 Subject:
Let's sublimate our personalities for the good of the collective!
A lesson in good manners turns into a seething cauldron of angst and recrimination.
Cindy the tomgirl learns how to act at a party, taking part in games you don't like, and telling boys that they won the game, even when they didn't. The best part is that when Cindy and her friends start anticipating the good behaviour lessons, the fairy godmother gets depressed and tells them she has to leave immediately. Sounds like she could use a few lessons, herself.
March 29, 2003 Subject:
In this real drop down corker of a movie, Cindy, real tomgirl that she is who plays basketball and fishes all day, wonders why she's not invited to Mary's party. She weeps to her mother (who is very strange looking and has no eyebrows) before she goes to bed. That night, her fairy godmother wakes her up and tells her that she's invited to the party, and takes Cindy to the party, while trotting out conformitive hints and tips with her wand like "leave on time" and "be a good loser". Soon, the fairy godmother leaves, Cindy cries for her not to leave as she is woken up by her mother, who says that Mary's sister, who's in the bedroom as well, forgot to bring the invitiation over. What do you know, she LOOKS like the fairy godmother... Yeah yeah, that's interesting, but what I wanna know is why on earth was she invited to her sleeping child's bedroom? A truly astounding movie, a MUST SEE on this site.
byBenny Goodman and his Orchestra; B. Goodman; H. Schertzer; G. Koenig; A. Rollini; V. Musso; H. James; Z. Elman; C. Griffin; G. Ballard; M. McEachern; A. Reuss; H. Goodman; J. Stacey; G. Krupa; Harry James; Benny Goodman